Chef’s Challenge to feature festive food for a good cause

This article is courtesy of Reporter-Times

Written By Lance Gideon |


Like Mexican food? Want to donate to charity? You’re in luck.

Participants will be able to combine both this year as the WellSpring Center hosts its annual Chef’s Challenge at 6:30 p.m. July 13 at the Morgan County Fairgrounds Auditorium, 1749 Hospital Dr., Martinsville.

This year’s specialty will be Mexican cuisine. Tickets for the event cost $20 each.

Bob Goodrum, executive director of WellSpring, said in the past, the center has invited groups to participate in the event to make the food.

“A couple of years ago, it was first responders teaming off against each other,” Goodrum said.

Each team was made up of police, firefighters and EMTs.

This year, the groups will come from local churches and the guests will be able to vote for their favorite dish by dollars.

“They are going to cook their favorite Mexican entrée. Each guest then will get sides, which we will provide,” Goodrum said.

The guests will also get a plate with four entrée samplings from each group which prepares food.

The winning group will receive a traveling trophy.

Goodrum said the competition is as much a fundraiser for WellSpring as it is a cooking competition.

Four churches have been invited this year to participate in the Chef’s Challenge.

Previously, the event took place at First Christian Church, but it has outgrown the space there.

“Last year, we sold out three weeks before the event,” Goodrum said. “We turned down four or five tables’ worth of people.”

With the expanding size of the event, the organization decided to move the challenge to the Morgan County Fairgrounds to have a larger space for the guests.

There will also be a live and silent auction the night of the event.

Auction items include Disney Park Hopper passes, a week stay at a condo in Florida, Colts and Pacers autographed memorabilia, gift certificates and more.

Goodrum said the Disney passes and the week stay at the condo in Florida will be auctioned separately so the winner of the Disney pass can decide where they want to stay.

There is also an Indiana University basketball signed by new men’s basketball coach, Archie Miller.

Auction items are added daily to WellSpring’s Facebook page at

Information can also be found on the center’s Twitter, @WellSpringCenter.

The funds raised from the event will go to help WellSpring Center provide shelter and supportive services to homeless families.

In 2016, the center provided nearly 20,000 nights of shelter to Morgan County families with over 10,000 nights for children.

WellSpring is the only shelter for homeless families in the county and has been in operation since 1988.

According to Goodrum, the event is sponsored by Vivian Aichele of Modern Woodmen.

Tickets can be purchased by calling WellSpring at 765-342-6661 or by stopping in at the center, 301 W. Harrison St.

Goodrum also said any questions can be answered about the event by calling, sending a message on Facebook or Twitter or emailing him at

He said the event is one of four major fundraisers the center hosts throughout the year.

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